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Ultralightweight deformable mirrors

Optical Society of America
Publication Date
  • Design


This paper presents a concept for ultralightweight deformable mirrors, based on a thin substrate of optical surface quality, coated with continuous active layers that provide separate modes of actuation at different length scales. This concept eliminates any kind of stiff backing structure for the mirror surface and exploits microfabrication technologies to provide tight integration of the active materials into the mirror structure, to avoid actuator print-through effects. Proof-of-concept, 10 cm diameter mirrors with an areal density of 0.6  kg/m^2 have been designed, built, and tested to measure their shape-correction performance and verify the finite-element models used for design. The low-cost manufacturing scheme involves low-temperature processing steps (below 140°C) to minimize residual stresses, does not require precision photolithography, and is therefore scalable to larger diameters depending on application requirements.

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